The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Student Profiles

Matthew Hanchard

Anchoring securities and mobilities: towards a digital sociology of maps

Description of Research Project   

I am developing a digital sociology of maps, focussed on: how digital maps are engaged as mundane technology; how the web 2.0/prosumer affordances of digital maps are engaged; and to what extend (if at all) digital map engagement anchors the constitution of everyday life.

The theory I develop is grounded in participant accounts; primarily from n=35 semi-structured interviews, n-3 focus groups, and a survey with ~250 respondents. However my reading and telling of those accounts is sensitised by various literature, including: Cartographic Theory; Digital Sociology; Practice Theory; Structuration Theory; STS; and Web Studies.


ORCID ID: 0000 0003 2460

  • Julsrud, T, and Hanchard, M (2017/forthcoming). Organising travel activities through social network media: Insight from a qualitative study of urban dwellers. In Plaut, P. (Ed.) Social Networks in Mobility and Urban environments. London: Routledge. Ch. 15.
  • Hanchard, M (2017/forthcoming) Digital maps and anchored time: the case for practice theory. In Gekker, A., Hind, S., Lammes, S., Perkins, C. and Wilmott, C. (Ed.) Time Travelers: Temporality and digital mapping. Manchester: University of Manchester Press


  • Hanchard, M. (2015) Location-based services and urban navigation: a qualitative investigation of transport use in Oslo (STSM Scientific Reports), Brussels: COST Office.
  • Hanchard, M. (2015) How NVivo can help you conquer writer’s block. NVivo guest contributor’s blog [Online]. August 13 2015 . Available at: Retrieved from:
  • Hanchard, M. (2010) Google Street-View; shaping the Identity of spaces. Street Signs. vol. 14., Spring, pp 26-27.


  • Hanchard, M. (2017) Digital citizens and their use of maps: how digital technologies increase and restrict individual agency in everyday life. In Campbell, E (Chair) Citizenship in an era of Fragility, GPS Symposium, Newcastle: Newcastle University
  • Hanchard, M. (2016) Practice Hacks: Exploring the centrality of materials in social change. In Christensen, T (Chair) Exploring the role of materials in practices and sustainability (Track 091 of ‘Science and Technology by Other Means’), Barcelona: European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST).
  • Hanchard, M. (2016) Practised curation: how power distributed through digital maps anchors everyday life. In Couldry, N. (chair) Everyday Politics and Media and Communications Symposium, London: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
  • Hanchard, M. (2016, May) STSM Scientific Report Presentation. In Plaut, P. (Chair) Annual Meeting of the COST Action members on TU1305 on ‘Social Networks and Travel Behavior, Bucharest: Ion Minchu University.
  • Hanchard, M. (2016, January) Rough Guides, does situated deferral to defaults anchor action? In Weiner, K (Chair) Science and Technology Studies (STS) symposium and workshop, Sheffield: University of Sheffield.
  • Hanchard, M. (2015, September) PhD Overview. Poster presented at the postgraduate researcher network meeting for Empathy and Trust in Online Communication (EMoTICON), Leeds: EMoTICON Network.
  • Hanchard, M. (2015, May) Towards a digital sociology of cartography. In Plaut, P. (Chair) Early Career Researcher (ECI) presentations. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the COST Action TU1305 social networks and travel behavior, Budapest: COST
  • Hanchard, M. (2012) Digital Cartography and users. In Hockey, J. (chair) Representation & Participation postgraduate conference, Sheffield: University of Sheffield.


Undergraduate Teaching (Sociological Studies) - University of Sheffield

  • Social Divisions
  • Understanding Social Inequality
  • Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Globalisation and World Cultures
  • The Sociological ImaginationrnWelfare Politics and the State

Undergraduate Teaching (Faculty) - University of Sheffield

  • The State of Sheffield: Super-diverse Sheffield
  • Facilitated/taught the winning student team for: Faculty award for Best Artefact 2016.

Postgraduate Teaching (Management School) - University of Sheffield

  • Critical Theories and Concepts in the Creative and Cultural Industries

I have extensive experience in developing and delivering professional training material in applied environments (notably on Microsoft SharePoint for Power-users). I also hold an OCN Level 3 qualification in Delivering Training.

Qualifications and Achievements    

  • Ongoing - Ph.D. in Sociological Studies (part-time) - Newcastle University, transferred mid-PhD from University of Sheffield. Thesis: “Anchoring securities and mobilities: towards a digital sociology of maps
  • 2009 - MA in Photography and Urban Cultures (Visual Sociology) - Goldsmiths. Thesis: “Google Street-View and the shaping of urban spatial identities” 
  • 2005 - BA (hons) in Photography (with Critical Studies) - University of Derby. Dissertation: “Emoticons, kaomoji and the forming of local dialects in online visual communications”rn

Links to other personal web profiles     Social Media Friendly:

@MatthewHanchard - Personal Twitter account
Matthew Hanchard - LinkedIn